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Nevila Pahumi, Reference Librarian for Modern Greek and Albanian, Latin America, Caribbean, and European Division
Note: This collection overview builds on an earlier version of the Albanian Collections Guide at the Library of Congress by Grant Harris.
Created: March 23, 2022
Last Updated: October 27, 2022
The Library of Congress has been collecting materials on Albania for over a century. They are particularly strong in the humanities and social sciences, with history, language, literature, and the political and cultural life of the Albanian people being the leading topics.
The purpose of this guide is to map out an overview of collections on or about Albania in the Library of Congress to enable researchers to assess whether a visit to the Library may help them with their research. With descriptions of various genres of publications, as well as a bit of history on the development of the collections, the guide covers collection materials across all reading rooms and internal divisions of the Library, including our digital collections.
Albania established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1922, ten years after achieving independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Library of Congress began to collect Albanian-language materials in earnest during the Cold War through a combined program of exchange, gifts, and purchase. In the 1950s, the Library received an average of 35 monographs per year. Since the early 1900s, the publishing landscape in Albania has undergone a general decline. Nevertheless, the number of acquisitions has been steady. Current receipts average 350 monographs per year from or about Albania, with 80 percent published in Albania.
Today, the collection encompasses 17,000 volumes. It is the largest Albanian collection in the United States, and most likely outside of Albania.
In addition to this overview-guide of the Albanian collections, staff of the Library of Congress have produced several other more detailed guides on Albanian resources. They are linked below.